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Clipless pedals, shoes and the options

Old 10-25-09, 11:05 PM
  #1  
JFlurett
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Clipless pedals, shoes and the options

I've been thinking about going back to clipless (like a recent poster is) myself. I've used flats since I took a nice spill a few years ago.

I guess first off, is there a good source of information in considering the options? A post here, a link elsewhere etc.?

Should you pick the pedals or shoes first?

Since we are commuters I'd imagine people would prefer to be comfortable to walk after they hop off their bike? To do this is either eggbeater, Frog or a pedal like Candy?
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Old 10-25-09, 11:17 PM
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I use Frogs along with Lake Shoes which has a VG serv. desk as well as a good site and VG selection. The shoes are supremely walkable, not the stiffest I guess but I can't imagine my requiring stiffer. They look a tad bit more mountain than road, kinda.
HushPuppy looking ones can be had as well. The sizes are "true" and they come in widths. My foot is wide and fat but the x-wides fit my heel snuggly, that's a big one.

Frogs work well, Still not an expert in 'em but old habbits die hard. ANOTHER reason why the Lakes AND the complimentary Frogs suit me, I can switch from peddle to peddle, bike to bike without slipping and ..... on my way to or from the bike.

Wait for recs. on Look ..
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Old 10-25-09, 11:57 PM
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I use the two-sided metal cleats from Nashbar "Rodeo" pedals, which I think are nearly identical to the Performance bike "Forte" commuter pedals.

They clip in/out no problem, and interestingly, are weighted correctly such that it's not a problem to have the flat platform side of the shoe come up. I use these pedals both clipped and unclipped for commuting & mtn biking (it's a mtn bike) and it's worked great.

For short commutes, or situations where on/off the bike quickly to walk around (shopping), I'd definitely recommend something where you can use regular shoes. But in general, I do prefer doing my longer rides and more serious rides clipless, and these pedals do work well.

The caveat - they're on the heavy side. Definitely not for racing bikes!
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Old 10-26-09, 12:21 AM
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The two sided idea is good. The Frogs could be used NOT clipped-in ONLY in a pinch.
I'll further explain that my shoes are other-pedal-friendly, the pedals are shoe specific.
Aside from that, shoes that are walkable aren't flexible, the design of, not the flex of the sole is the key. My shoes allow an easy, automatic rolling gate, no stomping.
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Old 10-26-09, 02:02 AM
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I have candies on one bike but prefer my eggbeaters. I use Shimano MTB shoes and can walk in them quite comfortably.

So eggbeaters + MTB shoes would be my recommendation.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:00 AM
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I just went back....actually, I may be the poster you are referring to here. I like my mountain shoes (Shimano MO75) - they're cheap and work well. For pedals I use crank bros. candy-c, which work great for me. I installed the "dotted" cleat on the right shoe so that the release is easier (they only have 2 release settings).
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Old 10-26-09, 06:08 AM
  #7  
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I know they are mountain bike shoes but I just got the shimano m086 shoes and the 520 spd dual side pedals and put them on my road bike. I think the shoe is the perfect cross between a road show and a mountain shoe. It has the recess for the cleat like a mountain shoe so it makes for easier walking and having tread to make for easier stops. I also like that it has the straps the same as a road shoe for a more secure fit and it isn't much bulkier then the all out road shoes.

This is my first time clipless and it is already like second nature, especially with the pedals adjusted light on the tension for now.

If I had one bike the I dedicated as the commuter I would put the platform/clipless pedals on it. Which I will probably end up doing on the mountain bike.
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Old 10-26-09, 12:12 PM
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I use Speedplay Frogs with Shimano MT40 shoes. Speedplay's marketing claims that Frogs have more float than other MTB clipless pedals. I have had issues with my left knee in the past so that was my reason for going with Frogs. Those particular shoes happened to be in the price range I was looking for, I could actually find a pair in US size 13 locally, and I liked the velcro strap to keep the laces from flopping araound.

I am not aware of anyone who makes a campus style pedal for the Frog cleat (cleat on one side, platform on the the other side).

Bebops look like they might be another option for a lot of float.
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Old 10-26-09, 12:38 PM
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I would make a list whats most important for you shoe-wise: being able to walk easily, price, ect

Then see if you want just clipless pedals (two sided clipless vs one sided) or clipless with a platform possibility.

Then narrow that down to the shoes and go try all of them on. It helps to see what other people like/dislike but peoples feet are very different and its up to you to see whats comfortable.

As for me I have some sidi's and spd pedals.
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Old 10-26-09, 01:11 PM
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I guess I should have mentioned this will be for my Salsa La Cruz. Would be nice if I found a set up good for commuting, light walking around, and cyclocross. I have not done cyclocross yet, but it is a strong desire for me, so one shoe/pedal for it all would be great.
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Old 10-26-09, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JFlurett View Post
I guess I should have mentioned this will be for my Salsa La Cruz. Would be nice if I found a set up good for commuting, light walking around, and cyclocross. I have not done cyclocross yet, but it is a strong desire for me, so one shoe/pedal for it all would be great.
If I were doing CX, I'd invest in a second pair of shoes, since between getting muddy/wet and cleaning them would likely require some substantial drying time, probably leaving you with still-wet shoes the next day, which isn't much fun. Plus then you could have some less obvious, more normal looking shoes as your commuting/walking shoes.
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Old 10-26-09, 01:46 PM
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I've been thinking about trying clipless myself and was looking at the Shimano A530 SPD/Platform pedals. I like the idea of having the platform option available for quick trips down the road or around the corner. Anybody here use them and if so how is the platform side in terms of grip?
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Old 10-26-09, 01:50 PM
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Honestly, I don't know if it is more important to pick shoes or pedals first, but I picked pedals first. not knowing if I wanted to use my clipless all the time, I put on some hybrid clipless pedals that are platform on one side. I am pretty sure most of the clips themselves on the shoes are the same and all adjustable aside from the spikes/cleats.
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Old 10-27-09, 11:23 PM
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I went to my fav. shop in Portland, and looked at shoes given my wanting to commute and still walk around in them. I looked at some Specialized MTB shoes that were 140... don't recall the name. Also tried on the Sidi Dominator. These seemed comfortable but I noticed my big toe really felt the lack of padding/feeling the hard surface. Perhaps this was due to my just getting out of my running shoes?

Anywho, they didn't have my exact size in, so I'll go back later. The guy who was helping me, sold us our bikes and I feel I trust him pretty well. He stated he had those style of shoes for 10 years without failure. Are they worth the $270 or however much they were?

Pedals we looked at the Shimano SPD and Candy mostly. He said most people in the shop use the Shimano style.

His opinion on the Candy was that they did not allow for adjustments, and that was an issue.

Frog's he said were quirky and finding shoes to fit them was an issue.

Still not sure I'm any closer to making a decision. My La Cruz still sits.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:38 AM
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time atac. good float for the knees. they dont jam unless your putting 4 ton epoxy in the pedal. you can wear the cleats down to nothing and theyll still hold you, unlike spds, which will release you at the most inopportune moments. like everything else, the cleat is recessed and fits on everything. i did almost 20 years on spds and i changed last year to time.

im a fan of the atac xs. theyre going to be 2 times as much as a low end spd style, but imo, its 5 times the pedal. im jaded, take this advice with a grain of salt.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:04 AM
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I switch to the Shimano M324 pedals a while back. SPD on one side and platform on the other. When restarting from a stop, these pedals mean that I don't have to think about clipping in until I get up to speed and stable. I bought these off eBay for about $50.

I recently purchased Shimano MT41G MTB shoes from Nashbar; currently on sale for $42.49. These are really working out well. The cleats are inset enough that I don't make noise or walk funny when entering the office building. I've realized a bonus from these as well. I used to ride to the gym on my road bike (wearing road shoes) with my gyms shoes draped over the handlebars. Not a big deal, but the shoes on the handlebars got a little tiring during the 20 mile loop after the workout. Since my road bike is outfitted with Ritchey SPD-style pedals, I can now wear these shoes that I can wear in the gym for my workout and also for the ride afterward. (NOTE: the workout to which I'm referring is strength training on a rubber floor. I would wear these shoes on a gymnasium floor.)
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Old 10-28-09, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rockdog View Post
I've been thinking about trying clipless myself and was looking at the Shimano A530 SPD/Platform pedals. I like the idea of having the platform option available for quick trips down the road or around the corner. Anybody here use them and if so how is the platform side in terms of grip?
I have them and haven't had any problems with slipping though they appear to have little grip at all. I'm used to toothy cages for platforms so the surface on platform side of the A530s didn't inspire much confidence. Like a lot of platforms I suppose how well they grip depends on the shoes you're wearing.

I'm fairly neutral on the value of hybrid pedals like these. There are times when it comes in handy to be able to ride comfortably with regular shoes but the need doesn't arise as often as I thought it would.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:15 AM
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>There are times when it comes in handy to be able to ride comfortably with regular shoes but the need doesn't arise as often as I thought it would.

I got Shimano M520s (or whatever they're called - basic mtb spds on both sides), and honestly never find that need at all. Maybe it's the fact that my bike takes a few minutes to unlock and take downstairs anyway, plus putting on my helmet, grabbing whatever else I need...the time to change shoes barely even rates a mention. And I can't really think of a situation where I would be somewhere with my bike but without my bike shoes - how would that happen? I think once I rode it to the LBS in my work shoes, and it was ok, if not a stellar experience.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:21 AM
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tjspiel, thanks for the info. Yeah the platform side doesn't appear (at least in pics) to have much grip, sounds like they should be ok though.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by stevage View Post
>There are times when it comes in handy to be able to ride comfortably with regular shoes but the need doesn't arise as often as I thought it would.

I got Shimano M520s (or whatever they're called - basic mtb spds on both sides), and honestly never find that need at all. Maybe it's the fact that my bike takes a few minutes to unlock and take downstairs anyway, plus putting on my helmet, grabbing whatever else I need...the time to change shoes barely even rates a mention. And I can't really think of a situation where I would be somewhere with my bike but without my bike shoes - how would that happen? I think once I rode it to the LBS in my work shoes, and it was ok, if not a stellar experience.
If my pedals didn't have a platform side it wouldn't be a major tragedy. I'll run the occasional errand over lunch at work and it's nice just to leave the work shoes on but changing wouldn't be a huge deal. The bike shoes may not go with whatever I'm wearing very well, but I'm not one to care much about that for a short trip. If worse came to worse, you could ride with your regular shoes on spd pedals. It's not the greatest but would be OK in a pinch.

I will say that if whatever trip I'm taking involves longish walks on concrete, the clicking of the cleats on my spd shoes can get annoying. In those cases being able to ride with other shoes or sandals is a plus.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by JFlurett View Post
I went to my fav. shop in Portland, and looked at shoes given my wanting to commute and still walk around in them. I looked at some Specialized MTB shoes that were 140... don't recall the name. Also tried on the Sidi Dominator. These seemed comfortable but I noticed my big toe really felt the lack of padding/feeling the hard surface. Perhaps this was due to my just getting out of my running shoes?

Anywho, they didn't have my exact size in, so I'll go back later. The guy who was helping me, sold us our bikes and I feel I trust him pretty well. He stated he had those style of shoes for 10 years without failure. Are they worth the $270 or however much they were?

Pedals we looked at the Shimano SPD and Candy mostly. He said most people in the shop use the Shimano style.

His opinion on the Candy was that they did not allow for adjustments, and that was an issue.

Frog's he said were quirky and finding shoes to fit them was an issue.

Still not sure I'm any closer to making a decision. My La Cruz still sits.
From what you mentioned in your other post, I would definitely stick with mountain bike shoes because it's a lot easier to walk around in them, plus they're designed for shedding mud and stuff for cyclocross.

If they're your first clipless shoes, I wouldn't recommend spending big bucks on them. There's no way to figure out if a cycling shoe is going to fit you based on trying them on in the store. For example, I started with a Specialized mountain bike shoe when I was younger. No real problems. In more recent years, I got a bike fitting and "real" road shoes. I tried on practically every single shoe I could find - a pair of Sidi's was definitely the most comfortable. Bought them.

My feet hurt like hell after 15 minutes of riding. My feet quickly became painfully numb. I figured road shoes were just different than mountain biking shoes. Called my fitter - he recommended trying different insoles. I went through 4 different pairs of insoles before I actually came close to solving my problem - by putting Specialized insoles in my Sidi's. Actually, it's kind of funny, because "more support" version of the Specialized insoles I purchased are actually somewhat uncomfortable to stand around in while off the bike.

My point is not that Specialized shoes would fit your feet (I know at least 1 person on this forum created a thread about how incredibly painful they found Specialized shoes). My point is that different people have different shaped feet, and there's no way to tell which brand best matches your feet without riding in the shoes with clips and everything.

My recommendation is to buy the cheapest "real" mountain bike shoes you can, they're usually around $100 to $150 dollars and see how your feet like them. If your feet like the feel after biking a couple hundred miles, stick with that brand.


As for which kind, I like the Crank Brother cleats/pedals:
1. Mountain bike style cleats/shoes
2. Plenty of float
3. Least amount of noise when walking around. Almost no cleat scrape (I've heard the same thing about Time Atac). Definitely less than spds.
4. Reputation for being the best at mud shedding
5. You can get pedals that you can also use without cleats for shorter distances, like the Acids (with shoes with regular soles on the bottom I can't feel the cleat through them) (EDIT - also, I have a gray/black pair, orange was just the first picture that came up) -


They don't sell a "campus" style pedal, but I hate those things anyways. I used to have a pair. Every time I would unclip at a light I would have to look down to clip in again because I could never be sure which side was up - was it the cleat side, or the flat side? Some people have told me never versions always have the same side up, I believe then you have to flip the pedal with your foot to clip in. Still hate the sound of it.
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Old 10-28-09, 01:23 PM
  #22  
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Eggbeaters are easy to get in and out of, and the cleats are slim, but i think they lack the durability you'd want for commuting. I broke a pair after only a couple months(fortunately still under warranty).

I recommend Time ATACS.
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Old 10-28-09, 03:03 PM
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I have speedplay lite actions, which I use with shimano shoes for commuting, and just wear coffee shop covers when I have to walk.

For trips to the store, I actually find that I can pedal just fine with the speedplays in sneakers- it's not as comfortable as a hybrid pedal, but it gets you there and back just fine.
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